Washing Station: Messina
Producer: Various local landholders
Region: Aferara, Adola, Guji Zone, Oromia
Altitude: 1900-2300 MASL
Varietal: Various local types
This beautiful Ethiopian coffee was grown in the Aferara ward of the Adola district in Guji, Oromia. Located at an altitude of 1900-2300 MASL, coffee cherries grown here mature slowly. The name Messina means ‘gold mine’ in Afaan Oromoo, the local language of the Oromo people who have a long tradition of coffee cultivation.
Guji coffee is quite distinct from both Yirgacheffe and Sidamo, other much-loved coffees of central and southern Ethiopia. Grown on a very small scale in the personal gardens of the producers, it’s usually intercropped with other plants. Most coffee is organic by default, and the slow, natural drying process results in uniquely intense flavours in the cup profile.
Ensuring the quality of this coffee is the wonderfully community-minded Israel Degfa, owner of Messina washing station, who operates more than 20 washing stations across the south of Ethiopia. During harvest season, farmers deliver their coffee cherries to Messina daily where coffee is hand sorted before processing.
Working with Israel for over two years now and spending lots of time travelling with him to see his operations, we’re constantly blown away by his attention to detail and focus on helping those living locally. Israel has implemented great training programs to increase cherry quality and has invested in state-of-the-art flotation systems for sorting cherries before production.
While most Ethiopian coffee is bought via the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), recent government reforms have allowed larger farms and coops to market and sell their coffee directly to consumers, resulting in increased traceability and fairer pricing.
FOB price: AUD/kg $10.40
C-market price: $3.2
Fair Trade minimum: $4.53
2.3x higher than the Fair Trade minimum.
To learn more about Transparency in coffee pricing and why it's so important, check out our Transparency Project.